Rock N Roll Racing Review

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Developer: Blizzard Publisher: Interplay
Release Date: June 4, 1993 Available On: Genesis and SNES

Even in 1993, racing games were nothing new. That being the case, it could sometimes prove to be difficult to find some niche or gimmick to make a new game in the genre seem different enough from its predecessors to be worth a look. With the release of Rock N Roll Racing for the Super Nintendo and Genesis, its creators managed to try something not tried much, the mixing of racing action and music heavily based on true rock classics. Is the result a good game? Read on to find out.

Graphically, Rock N Roll Racing is not the most graphically impressive game in the world. It is somewhere in the average range, but that is not anything bad. There are no significant glitches to speak of when the game is moving at its fastest possible pace, which is certainly a good thing. As long as you are not expecting a graphical powerhouse, you should be more than satisfied with this game.

On the sound front, I wish I could say that the sound effects are excellent, but I am unable to do so because, in actuality, they are quite average. That is not to say that they are bad by any means. The car sounds sound reasonably like car sounds, at least by Super Nintendo standards. The music, however, is the real sound draw to this game, the in-race music in particular. All of the in-race music is comprised of midi versions of classic rock songs. This is a win-win situation since it will attract fans of rock music to the game and it prevented the developer from having to compose new music for the game. The song choices are excellent and they sound pretty good to boot, easily making up for the average sound effects.

In terms of gameplay, this is obviously a racing game. However, this is not your typical Mario Kart or Pole Position type of racing game. Instead, it is a top-down racing game more in the vein of Sprintmaster, although on a larger scale. This means that right and left on the control pad turn the car to its left or right, not left or right by the view of player. As with any other game of this type, that may take a little getting used to on the part of the player, but it is not the end of the world.

However, this is not just a straightforward racing game. The cars are equipped with a preliminary form of what would later become nitro boosts as well as weapon systems and jump systems. These things make the game more interesting, especially as you get later cars with better equipment that can use more of these things. The racing itself takes place on a reasonably high number of tracks across five planets and is very active and fast-paced. The skill of computer opponents you will face will depend on which of the three available skill levels you choose and how far in the game you have progressed.

Speaking of cars and equipment, there are two ways you can play this game. There is a sort of story mode where you progress from planet to planet, earning money to buy cars and upgrades for them. There is also a sort of arcade mode where you can access any track and any car at any time, so depending on your preference, there is something here for all levels of racing fans. If that is not enough for you, the game also boasts split-screen multiplayer. The result is a racing game that, for its time anyway, has the potential to last a good long time.

What then is the conclusion of this matter? If you have a Super Nintendo and are in the market for a new racing game, you could do far worse than to choose Rock N Roll Racing. I found the game in a thrift store, so I have no idea what it is going for, but I would say that as long as you pay less than $10 or so for it you will get enough time out of the game to cover the cost. Please note that I have reviewed the Super Nintendo version and have no idea if or how the Genesis version may be different.

Graphics: 6.5
Sound: 8.5
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 7.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 7.5
Written by Martin Henely Write a User Review

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